Thoughts on a piece of news article
So, after being informed of a rather enraging piece of news, through the ever eloquent Rick Falkvinge himself, I could not prevent myself from reading it and noticing the incredibly biased tone and, big surprise, large amount of mistakes made throughout it. Clearly it was written by
someone THREE PEOPLE (sorry, I can understand faulty logic coming from a single person, but for three people to agree on contradicting themselves, it’s just plain stupid) who do not dare to even try to understand what the freaking hell they are talking about.
Let’s start with the beginning: they present a rather short piece of an enterview with Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who they claim “is an ideal source of information when it comes to revolutionary movements” (protip: “ideal source of information” does not equal “supreme and almighty judge”). So far so good, but what does this person have to say? Something along the lines of “I don’t like the Pirate Party and I think they aren’t real revolutionaries”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so please, do whatever you like, mr Enzensberger, but before you go around shouting stuff like “I wonder why they don’t go the bakery and say that they’d rather not pay. Why does it have to be against us, the authors?”, try and check what you are talking about first. Copying is not theft, and the stolen car analogy is pointless and fake.
In the following section, they keep on, stating the artists now have turned against the Party, because its policies are incompatible to the needs of such group (really? Have you spoken with EVERY SINGLE artist, to be sure of that? Have you spoken to me? (Yes, game-making is an art)). Again, at the last paragraph of the section, they present their argument:
This is a broad alliance, formed across many types of media and gathering famous names such as film director Doris Dörrie, publisher Carl Hanser Verlag’s literary director and author Michael Krüger and author Julia Franck. “I think it’s high time I explained a couple of things to you Pirates. Much of what you say is based on dangerous half-truths,” musician Jan Delay said in a SPIEGEL debate with Christopher Lauer, a member of Berlin’s state parliament for the Pirate Party.
Half-truths? That’s some serious allegation you got there, so let’s see what you can tell me of it: (taken from the debate's transcript)
I think it’s high time I explained a few things to you Pirates. Much of what you say is based on dangerous half-truths. You piece together your opinions from various blog posts and Wikipedia entries, but none of you have been involved with the music industry for 20 years, either as a creative artist or a purchaser. You always consider record companies to be the bad guys, but that’s a cliché. What you always forget is the entire infrastructure associated with it: Video production companies, studios and suppliers, who have all been dying off over the past ten years.
Oh, so you personally checked with every single member of the Party, to see if they had that much experience with the medium? (protip: the article being debated here has itself claimed there are over 25,000 members) Again, please don’t make stuff out of the thin air, and it is tiresome for me to keep pointing the same error time and time again.
Also, still on the debate: so your industry is dying over the past ten years? WELL TOUGH LUCK. The market is doing whatever it pleases, as it always have, and it just seems the time has come for the change. Nothing lives forever, especially an industry that made its wealth over the fact that artistic advertising and production was hard at the time of its conception. The rules of the game are different now, and you have no right to force everyone to pretend that technology hasn’t made your business obsolete.
Moving on, they continue to state that
Many creative professionals who consider themselves part of the political left have also noticed on second glance that the Pirates’ success has been to the detriment of the Green Party and the SPD. In the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, Governor Hannelore Kraft of the SPD can no longer be certain of her party’s victory in the next election.
…Well, yeah, the higher the percentage of votes given to a party means there are less of those votes left to be distributed between all the others. You don’t have to be a genius to see that votes are a scarce resource, and taking from it reduces its availability for everyone else.
But what bothers me is that line “can no longer be certain of her party’s victory in the next election”. Seriously? Having political competitors is a bad thing? Knowing that there is more than just one party/politician you can choose to vote for is BAD?! So you’re just saying that the Pirate Party’s presence in Germany’s political panorama has actually secured that elections are democratic? That’s so kind of you!
In the next section, they state that given the non-hierarchycal structure of the Party, people who go around saying they represent the party in its entirety are looked down upon. That is right. I mean, wouldn’t you look down upon someone who goes around saying they represent the whole humanity when they say that chocolate is better than vanilla? (I do think that chocolate is better, the difference here is that I don’t think everyone is supposed/forced to agree with that). But then, they went and said something that made my jaw drop like I had a whole banquet of passion fruit-flavored chocolate servings:
Those looking to climb within the party despite this axiom of equality do well to put themselves forward as modest servants of the party.
HOW DO YOU EVEN CLIMB WITHIN AN ORGANIZATION WITH NO HIERARCHY?! TELL ME, HOW? See? This is why I said their logic is faulty. And apparently, they try to compensate that by impersonating Captain Obvious once more:
Any party member who does dare give an interview must take care not to stray too far from the party line. “If you don’t mess up, then in the best scenario, things will stay calm,” Schramm says. “If you do screw up, all hell will break loose.”
Say, hipothetically, were I a member (not only that, but one of those members who actually get to say stuff to the media) of the, say, Green Party or the Christian Democratic Union, and went around saying “my party supports rape and domestic violence”, wouldn’t the other members of said party shoot me down? Of course they would, not only because I went around saying things people don’t like to hear about in their television, but also because my statements did not represent the party’s ideology. That’s common sense, folks. But these next statements have scared me a lot:
Buy it’s now becoming clear that the world of artists and the world of nerds don’t have much in common. Who among intellectuals, for example, can take seriously people who spend their time on role-playing games and consider J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” the crowning glory of literature?
Nevermind the typo there, did I actually read what i think I just did? Guys, nerd bashing is not cool, and trying to pass offensive and prejudiced views like that as news is as much as criminal. Words are not enough to describe the horror I feel when reading such words.
Finally, the article’s conclusion does not only conclude nothing at all, it also seems to say that the Green Party declared it supports the Pirate Party’s ideas out of fear, when they say
The long-established forces in the left-wing camp have so far observed the new competition with a mixture of fear and awe. Green Party leadership, as represented by party chair Renate Künast, was quick to declare that the Greens also consider copyright law in urgent need of reform.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it? How can the Greens fear a party that, in the article’s words, is nearly half its size? Honestly, it has been a long while since I ever read something like this, and I think I need some rest now, so I can get back at least part of those neurons I just lost.